Welding helmets come in a range of shapes, sizes, and functions. Currently, there’re seven different helmet types. Knowing how to choose a helmet is essential, as it’s what makes the difference between a wrong and excellent weld.
When you make a good welding helmet your choice, there’ll be a lesser likelihood of it failing on the job or not functioning as intended. Also, there’re some best cheap welding helmets that’ll guarantee you value for money.
Well, there are lots of choices when it comes to selecting brands, and picking the correct product for you is what we’re focusing on. Let’s see what you’ll need to look at;
Selection Criteria for a Perfect Welding Helmet
Your lens is so important. Without it, you simply can’t do anything with a welding helmet. Let’s see the most vital features to look for in a welding helmet’s lens;
Type of lens
The lens type stands as a major element you need to check out in your choice helmet. It’s the part of your head piece responsible for keeping your eyes safe. So, if you’re not down with blinded for a few moments by welding arcs, look at this closely. Let’s see what you need checked out;
A fixed-shade helmet keeps your eyes safe. The helmet keeps the lens shade switching fixed at a particular range to maintain proper visibility.
This helmet normally comes with a set of functions which aid the operator’s visibility.
These welding helmets are currently regarded as state-of-the-art. When you’re in an operation with a need for a range of welding materials producing various arcs, choose a variable-shade helmet.
And in most situations, these helmets come with a shade switching feature to enable better eye security for the operator. Also, expect your variable-shade helmet to come with an interference protection mechanism. This mechanism comes with a lot of helpful functions for the operator.
When arcs are your only focus, a helmet with no anti-interference mechanism could malfunction. But with a variable-shade helmet, external light is dulled with focus placed on the weld and nothing else.
An auto-dim or auto-darkening helmet is the safety-conscious welder’s choice. This helmet comes with cutting-edge technology to develop your welds in becoming more precise. It comes with this feature fitted over the lens to create a safeguard when your welds get too bright.
With an auto-dim lens on your helmet, flashes aren’t possible with its protective covering.
UV/IR Protection –
This is one of the least recognized features on a helmet but stands as most relevant. Ultraviolet and infrared rays could be common when you’re welding with specific materials. A good helmet will have UV and IR protection even when your device is turned off.
A passive lens has the relevant features, albeit rigid, that provide proper eye protection. This lens comes with a range of features that enable the user’s eyes to withstand looking at bright light.
Also, passive lenses provide the right kind of protection against splatters, keeping your eyesight pristine.
Other Lens Features:
Apart from the main lens features, there’s other stuff you should look at. These elements aren’t overly physical, but their effect is very well seen during welding operations. Here they are;
Delay control –
Delay controls help you tweak the response time of your helmet to the end of a weld. With a delay control feature, light-dark state switching becomes a breeze. It’s no secret that most welding helmets come with a delay range of within 0.1 – 1s for maximum visibility.
Use the delay control option to maximize the performance of your lens and ensure better eye health over time.
View size –
The viewing lens you select has a lot to do with your line of sight. Currently, there are helmet sizes in small, medium and large.
Smaller lenses are more appropriate when you need a little amount of work done. On the flip side, larger lenses are required when work is to be done over a large area.
Choose your helmet on the basis of what you wish to weld. And it’s better to go for a larger screen as it can serve numerous purposes.
Sensitivity control –
Sensitivity controls help you to determine how much light will cause the lens to go dark. There’re some welds where you’ll find the arcs emitting a low amount of light. In such situations, the sensitivity control works well in keeping your sight clearer than you’d expect.
Sensors available –
Sensors help in detecting the arcs your weld produces. In more domestic, welding shop helmets, two sensors are regularly found. While in more work-grade helmets, it’s normal to have four sensors added for better arc detection.
Just as the lens is vital, so is the helmet itself. The helmet has a lot of essential elements that play a huge role in the quality of your headwear assures. Let’s see the most crucial features you need to look at for a good pick;
Your helmet’s weight is one feature you can’t afford to overlook when you need a head gadget that’ll work well for you. There’re helmets which weigh lesser than a pound. In most cases, the highest a helmet can weigh is about 3 pounds.
But note this when it comes to welding helmets. Weight could equate to quality. Let me explain how. With the addition of features to your welding helmet, its weight continues to go up. But with a helmet with very few elements, you’ll notice a lighter build.
So you could override weight for quality when you need your helmet to possess different features.
Your helmet’s design adds a lot to your safety and ease of operation. The outer design of your helmet such as knobs, buttons, headband, and so on help you work better. So keep the design in mind to make your helmet’s operation a lot easier.
Neck guard –
Without a neck guard in your helmet, you could get a nasty neck burn from a weld spatter. Neck guards are added with your helmet in the form of an elongated base in most units.
Heat shield –
Welding is a tough and hot business, and its possible you’ll get sweaty when the operation gets going. A heat shield restricts the amount of heat released into your helmet.
With such a feature, you’ll feel cooler on your face and neck even if you’ve been welding for some time.
Your helmet has to be a bit durable if you’re working in challenging environments, say underground for instance. A good welding helmet could serve as proper protection for your head and neck. On the flip side, a bad helmet could be dangerous in its own right.
Make sure you choose a helmet designed with a hard-to-break material, because most helmets come made in polymers today. A durable helmet will let you function much better and will keep you safe if you need a safety headwear.
With all said and done, a helmet without a power source is almost a piece of junk. Power is what makes most today’s welding helmets function. Let’s see the various power sources for you to make a decision from;
Replaceable battery-powered helmets work with two cells fitted into the helmet. These batteries power up the helmet, making all its features active. It’s one of the most preferred sources of power for welding helmets right now.
The power of the sun is preferred by a host of welders across skill levels. Right now, solar-powered welding helmets come with a set of non-replaceable batteries to store some power for future operation.
When you’re out in the sun, the battery keeps charging, and the solar energy powers the helmet fully.
A hybrid helmet is more expensive, but there’s a good reason why that is. It comes with a mix of battery and solar power and will function for much longer based on its dual power source.
Word of Advice: How to Make the Right Choice for a Welding Helmet
With so many elements to consider, it could still be tricky for some to get a hang of choosing the right helmet. Well, let me break it down for you. To make a perfect choice for a helmet, ensure you pay attention to the following;
With so many features, you could get lost as to what you actually need. If that’s the case, make a list of what function you want your helmet to possess. Then use this list in making a choice for a product. You’ll be more satisfied with your choice with this method.
Work to be done
A particular type of job may require a helmet with a larger screen, more durability, brightness control, etc. Ensure your helmet can get your job done before making a choice.
Level of expertise
Your level of expertise is another salient feature of your helmet you’ve got to consider. If you’re a newbie prone to getting off-balance with a bright arc, a fixed-shade helmet is perfect for you. While an expert could handle welds across a range of devices.
The price of your helmet could be irrelative when you’re looking for top-class products. But when you’re in the hunt for a budget helmet, tailor your choices.
You’ve now got all you need to make a good choice for a welding helmet. Take the opportunity right now, and make a most befitting choice for a helmet right now!